We’ve been discussing medical care a lot in this country in recent years. But while catching up on reading over Memorial Day, I found a basic flaw in our healthcare system that everyone needs to know about. Let’s start with a question — how well do you know your doctor?
What got my attention was the cover story of the May 2016 of Consumer Reports magazine. Entitled “What You don’t Know About Your Doctor Could Hurt You”, the lead-in sums it up pretty well —
“Thousands of doctors across the U.S. are on medical probation for reasons including drug abuse, sexual misconduct, and making careless—sometimes deadly—mistakes. But they’re still out there practicing. And good luck figuring out who they are.”
That’s right, in most cases doctors on probation are still allowed to practice medicine, and there is no requirement to tell you about any actions against them or the details. How doctors are disciplined all depends on the individual state medical boards.
Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, is trying to change that. They have instituted a “Safe Patient Project”, and have ratings of all the state boards with links to their websites at http://consumersunion.org/topic/health-care/patient-safety/ But until there is fundamental system change, never was “buyer beware” more critical.
The article can be accessed at http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/health/doctors-and-hospitals/what-you-dont-know-about-your-doctor-could-hurt-you/index.htm